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Our Community Focus

June PH Mayors Message

Jun 01, 2015 09:47PM ● By Elena Hutslar

Mayor Ken Carlson

Shaping the Image of Pleasant Hill: City Gateways Project

Over the course of the past year, the city has conducted a series of public workshops and community meetings to solicit insights and opinions from residents, businesses, and community leaders to help define design concepts for our city gateways. 

What do we mean by City Gateways? 

City gateways are often defined as entry points to a city or town that reflect the character and aspirations of a community. Gateway features should help tell the story of the community and reflect the community’s sense of place. The current gateway features in Pleasant Hill have served the community well for many years, but they are aging and need to be replaced. 

The city engaged with WRT, a landscape architectural design firm, to help with the community outreach process and develop design concepts based on feedback and input from these meetings. The city also conducted an online survey and received 225 survey responses. 

The meetings and survey helped define the unique qualities of Pleasant Hill and identified the main entryways into the city that welcome visitors as well as the public destinations that need additional signage to help people navigate them.

We also used group meetings with the city’s Architectural Review Commission, Planning Commission, Chamber of Commerce, and the Pleasant Hill Rec & Park Board to focus on understanding the natural features of the community and the social fabric of residents, students, families and businesses that make up our community.

What happens next?

The final community design workshop was held on May 11, and the next steps for the project include developing specific cost estimates for the final design concepts and then taking the Draft Master Plan back to the city’s Architectural Review Commission and Planning Commission for input before a final public presentation is made to the city council.

The community process has been good, and what has clearly emerged is the community’s passion for the place where they do business or call home. The feedback and opinions of many have resulted in design concepts that will reflect the unique character and aspirations of our community well into the future.

I am particularly grateful to Kelly Calhoun, our economic development manager who has been a stalwart in guiding and managing this project.

Upcoming Events

The 16th Annual Sunset by the Lake Summer Concert Series began on Sunday, May 24. Organized by our very own Civic Action Commission, this ever-popular concert series has become a mainstay of summer entertainment in Central Contra Costa and is attended by thousands of residents and visitors. There are eight additional concerts this year and the complete schedule is available at


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